Staff briefing roundup

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

General update – Peter Wightman

  • COVID vaccination programme
  • Lister Hospital – starts vaccination programme tomorrow
  • Contacted six practices in Stevenage to put forward over 80s who would be most suitable
  • Care home staff within 20 miles of Stevenage have been invited to have the vaccination
  • Much has changed in the past few days and vaccine quantities are lower than expected
  • For the future weeks – there will be a focus on PCNs. –All PCNs were asked to be in the first wave of the vaccination programme – five PCNs agreed: Epping Forest North, Harlow, North Uttlesford
  • Over 80s – it is not domiciliary service, patients are to come and attend centre
  • This information is not in public domain yet – please treat as confidential
  • Hospital locations not ideal for over 80s – hoping that vaccination centres will go-live for the rest of care home staff and over 80s – not confirmed
  • Lease now signed off and work can begin on Harlow Leisurezone this week
  • Chigwell hoping to go-live w/c 21 December – not confirmed
  • Key uncertainties – how much vaccination is available and whether other vaccinations will be approved and going through MHRA process
  • Continue to see high levels of COVID spreading in Harlow (228.6) Epping Forest (217.16) Uttlesford (61.4)
  • Essex locations experiencing greater numbers – appear to be London edged council areas
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital continues to see a high demand
  • Headline position – PAH is in a difficult position, cancelling elective operations and the number of outbreaks on the wards
  • PAH under pressure to introduce lateral flow test and get numbers to 80% as part of control
  • Josephine Smit – PAH’s volume of work to be able to go-live next week has been tremendous across Primary Care – everyday more info comes to light
  • One Health and Care Partnership programme meeting – putting together outcomes to areas, looking at where we still have gaps – very positive meeting
  • Mental health – concerns of high COVID impact
  • EPUT mental health case – CCG is reviewing our commissioning approaches
  • COVID national and regional statistics
  • The estimate of the reproduction value of the virus for the UK is 0.8 to 1.0
  • UK growth estimated at 3% to 1%
  • The estimate of the reproduction value of the virus for East of England is 0.9 to 1.0.
  • East of England growth estimated at 2% to +1%
  • Essex Authorities entered Tier 2 of a Three Tier system (High Alert) on 2 December
  • All Essex districts had multiple positive cases in the last 7 days’ available data
  • Highest community rates are in Basildon at 372 cases per 100 000 at 2 Dec. This compares with England rate of 149 and is 13th highest in the UK
  • Nationally, the rate of new cases detected has reduced from peak, but has not fallen in the past week. 14718 reported across UK on 07/12 and 7 day average of 15472 on 04/12 (up from 14778 on 27/11).

Rob Gerlis

  • COVID vaccination – there are only 3.5 days of actual use due to movement – you can only move it twice. E.g. if you move from site to PCN site, and then another PCN site to other site – if you have any over you can’t take into another site
  • The vaccination is quite fragile and mustn’t be shaken as it degrades quite easily – concerns as there could be bumps in the road when transporting and questions as to whether the vaccine will be OK – this is being investigated
  • Need to reduce any wastage – the vaccination comes in batches of 38 e.g. care home is 35 – you need to ensure there is no wastage and the remaining three are used
  • Looking at uniformity – avoid postcode lottery situation

 Local update – Ian Tompkins

  • Simone Surgenor’s new appointment as Associate Director of Integrated Governance and Organisational Alignment – Simone will be co-ordinating governance arrangements across the ICS
  • COVID vaccinations – buildings 2 and 3 are ready for use
  • One implication from that – key worker testing site will be closed down end of the week as the vaccination site comes into operation
  • Basildon – infection rate is over 300 – doubled mobile test unit presence – all hospitals are on red in terms of bed capacity
  • There’s still time to register for the staff Christmas quiz on 17 December at 7.30pm. If you haven’t already, register your team with the Communications team.
  • Vaccination patients without transport – we are having discussions with community transport operators to look at this. Talking with voluntary sector and other sectors to sort this issue
  • Herts Community Trust looking for volunteers for larger vaccination sites. Expressions of interest to
  • Beware of COVID vaccination scam emails and text messages

Sarah Crane – Preventing Burn Out – short presentation on a workshop for staff in January

  • We have organised an exciting wellbeing burnout session for all staff. This virtual workshop will be held on Monday 18 January 2021 between 12noon and 1pm.
  • Dr Sarah Goulding, an NHS GP and Coach with a portfolio career focused on supporting doctors, will host the session.
  • Beverly Hayward attended a session back in September – Bev said she thought it was just for GPs but what Dr Sarah Goulding shared can related to so many of us
  • Was totally drawn into session, so much useful information was shared
  • Great example – box breathing exercises and something she has taken away from that
  • Encourage everyone to attend and hope to see everyone there

Staff turned their cameras on during the briefing – this is a preview of the ‘together mode’ layout in Teams.


  • Sue Massey – Our first Mid-week mindfulness session is starting tomorrow -please join if you can!
  • There’s no need to book. To access the session on the day, login to Microsoft Teams and go to the ‘Staff Room’ channel by clicking on the Teams icon on the left-hand menu. You may have to click on ‘hidden channels’ for the Staff Room to appear or type ‘Staff Room’ in the search bar at the top

Your questions

  1. Are there any conditions where the COVID vaccination wouldn’t be suitable e.g. pregnancy?
  2. We are waiting for final guidance on this and will update everyone accordingly.
  3. Is the Oxford vaccine any more robust?
  4. This is to be confirmed; however it certainly doesn’t need such challenging storage conditions.
  5. Could you advise where staff can get COVID testing weekly if the Spencer Close testing site is closing?
  6. We will confirm what the alternative arrangements are shortly.


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